Epic pledges to never do it that way again.
The Epic Games Store has become a fixture of the gaming landscapes in just a few months—in large part because of how aggressively Epic has attempted to seat it firmly as a launcher for PC gaming, by soliciting exclusives aggressively. These have included games such as The Division 2 and the upcoming The Outer Worlds—but no exclusive solicited by Epic for their store generated as much controversy and backlash as the eleventh hour Epic Games Store exclusivity announcement for Metro Exodus did.
And it looks like Epic now feels that in hindsight the whole thing was handled poorly, because speaking to PC Gamer, Steve Allison, head of the Epic Games Store, noted that it is not something the company ever wants to do again this way.
“We had been talking to those guys for a number of months,” he said, “and they made some decisions on their end—this is not a throw under the bus thing, it’s just the timing of where that came together and what was important to their business—we decided to do it together, we both knew there was the potential for the thing that happened in terms of communication. I think it felt way worse and was bigger than we thought, and in real-time, we spent time talking … ‘we will never do this again in this way.’
“And I think we’re not in a situation now where that could ever happen, because now we’re live and we have a view out in time, and we can work with everybody … We have a case study where it says ‘maybe we should make our decisions earlier,’ and we will.”
In the end, while the decision obviously caused a lot of anger among fans, it looks like the game itself thankfully did not suffer because of it. As Epic themselves noted during their GDC keynote yesterday, Metro Exodus ended up doing 2.5 times better than Metro: Last Light had done on Steam launch aligned. Storefront wars aside, in the end, the games themselves not being affected is what we can and should hope for.